Tuesday, 7 February 2006

Review: Panasonic KX-TG5433 Cordless Phone - Initial Impressions

After getting about 5 years our of existing cordless phones, we decided to upgrade. The existing cordless phones conflicted with our wireless router, resulting in clicks and signal loss. Adam did some research and concluded that the Panasonic KX-TG5433 was the right choice for us. Coincidently, Best Buy had the system on sale for CDN$229.99, so Adam headed over and purchased the system.

This is a 5.8Ghz digital cordless answering system with three handsets. The system comes with 1 base and 2 chargers. The answering system is all-digital with a 10 minute total recording capacity, includes built-in greetings and can be controlled from any phone and the base. Each phone has a speakerphone, a headset jack, a 3-colour light-up indicator and 7 selectable ringtones (3 tones, 4 melodies). A total of 50 entries can be stored in the phonebook. You can transfer all or part of the phonebook from one phone to another. You can also select a specific light-up colour and ringtone for any phonebook entry. The system has an intercom system between the three handsets and the base. The system is not expandable beyond the 3 handsets provided. You must charge each handset for 6 hours before first use.

The display is a backlit (amber) LCD with 3 lines. The level of charge and handset number are visible when the phone is not in use. The contrast can be adjusted. The handset feels comfortable in your hand - not too heavy or light and not to small - and comes with a belt clip. The ring volume, speakerphone volume and regular volume are adjustable. The default ringtone is pleasant - the remaining ringtones are acceptable. The handset is easy to use. Either dial the number or use the phonebook and then press Talk (or Speakerphone) or vice-versa. There are mute, hold and redial buttons.

There is no speed dial (where a phone number is assigned to a keypad number). When in the phonebook, you can use the keypad to move quickly to the first phone number that corresponds to the letters on the keypad. You cannot keep pressing the keypad to cycle through other phone numbers with the same letters - you have to the jog button.

The menu system is straightforward. There are not many options to deal with - this makes it a very easy system to setup. One issue that some people have brought up with this system is that erasing the call display memory on one handset does not erase it on the other handsets. Some see this as a negative, but in our experience, it's not as bad as some people make it to be. First, it east very easy to erase the entire call-display memory in one shot. Additionally, it is easy to erase each entry - just hit the Clear button. Second, the other handsets that retain the call-display entries act as a backup. I know that I have deleted some entries by mistake. Now you have at least two other handsets with that information.

The audio and signal quality of this system is top notch. There are no audible clicks or signal drops. If you have any problems, you can activate a voice enhancer option that may improve the audio quality. An automatic booster system may kick in when audio/signal quality is poor - though this will use up your battery. The answering system can be accessed from the base - messages can be heard and deleted, greetings recorded, and the number of new messages are displayed. The base also has an intercom function, where you can call another handset. You cannot call more than one handset.

Our initial impressions of this system are positive